I've been thinking about our food and clothing ministry - The Bridge.
I'm not surprised by folks who don't understand why we spend so much time and effort making The Bridge work. I know there are people whose worldview does not have room for such things, or who think we should do it another way, or who have a problem with "those people." I get that. I even get how folks who put great effort into being followers of Jesus do not understand why we do what we do, even though I personally cannot be a follower of Jesus and not do what we do at The Bridge.
What surprises me is how many people who give to the ministry refuse to have any contact with the people who need the food and clothing we share at The Bridge. They bring clothes, they donate canned goods, but they never participate in the best part of what we do - build relationships. I think it has something to do with keeping a distance, although I doubt if any of these good folks would recognize it as such. As long as I don't get to know needy people, I will never know how much alike we are.
Most of us have an operational worldview, based upon our position of privilege, that suggests life is fair and everyone gets what they deserve (even if this idea directly contradicts our theology of grace). If I ever found out that the folks who need help feeding their kids are just as kind, just as nice, just as hard-working as I am - maybe even kinder, nicer and harder-working - I would have to face the reality that my worldview is really faulty. And I would also have to face the reality that I am not that much different from the folks who need some help making it every day.
Like the wealthy Nicodemus in John 3 and the poor Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, unless I allow Jesus to change the way I view life and the world, and especially my place in it, the living water and eternal life Jesus offers will not only be just out of reach, but it also won't make much sense at all.
Grace and peace,